Mrs Maryam Uwais, Special Adviser to President Mohammadu Buhari on Social Investment, says the National Social Welfare Pregramme at the National Safety-Nets Co-ordinating Office (NASSCO) targets one million poor people annually.
She said the programme was working on identifying the 83 million poor people in Nigeria and alleviating their poverty.
She said that because there was no enough money for everybody, the programme devised a strategy to go to the poorest first.
This, she said, was by first identifying the care giver mostly women who then shared to the family, then further asking for the needs of the community and then what the state thought needed to be addressed.
She said that NASSCO would deliver a comprehensive and authentic National Social Register (NSR) to be used for varying interventions, addressing poverty and the vulnerable among Nigerians by the government and international development partners.
“NASSCO has a national coverage target to reach at least one million poor and vulnerable households yearly over a five year period.
“To achieve this, it has signed an MoU with the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory and established state operations coordinating units with the national social register at different stages of development.
“Currently, NASSCO has a register of poor and vulnerable households of 20 states for 30 per cent of the local government areas across the states.
“It has a total of 518,432 households and 2,031,195 individuals covered thus far.’’
Also, Mr Apera Iorwa, National Coordinator, NASSCO, said that the programme was now a model that other African stories learnt from due to its sustenance by the government.
Iorwa said that the programme was in the 36 states, although some states were at the take off level.
He said at the moment, 22 states had taken off with record in the national register.
He said that other states were at the level of collecting data while some were training staff, adding that the Federal Government was responsible for funding of the development of the state register.
He said that the states were responsible for employing and posting civil servants into the state coordinating offices.
According to him, this is done through a combination of three mechanisms, one is a geographical mapping which identifies local government across the country based on how poor or wealthy they are.
Iorwa said that the Federal Government, after signing the MoU with states, allowed them to present the local government rankings that enabled it to pick the first 30 per cent local governments to start with.
He said that the programme would then begin the process of developing the register with the three local governments which comprised the 30 per cent selected and eventually extend it to the entire states.
He said that the local governments would then select staff to go to the communities to start the community based development by separating the communities into youths, women and adult.
He said that these people would now decide who the poor were then the list was brought to a meeting of the entire community where it is harmonised and signed by the community.
He said that the list would then be given to enumerators who would carry out the developmental process.
Earlier, Mr John Mugabushaka, Chief of Staff, Ministry of Social Affairs, DRC and head of the delegation, said the team was sent by the DRC Government on an experience-sharing tour.
Mugabushaka said that this was to learn about the process of alleviating poverty in Nigeria, an experience they would like to domesticate in the Congo.
He commended President Muhammadu Buhari’s initiative, adding that they had learnt a lot in the presentations.
He said the experience sharing would enhance the countries’ relationship.